for I the Lord your God am holy.
One theologian described Holy as mysterium tremendum, a mystery inexpressible and above all creatures. That makes for a rather lofty goal for God to hold out to us. No wonder people have trouble even defining the holy, much less aspriring to it. In a recent survey by the Barna Group researchers found that when asked to describe what it means to be holy, respondents said:
“I don’t know” (21%)The researchers concluded that
“being Christ-like” (19%)
making faith your top priority in life (18%)
living a pure or sinless lifestyle (12%)
having a good attitude about people and life (10%)
focusing completely on God (9%)
being guided by the Holy Spirit (9%)
being born again (8%)
reflecting the character of God (7%)
exhibiting a moral lifestyle (5%)
accepting and practicing biblical truth (5%)
the results portray a body of Christians who attend church and read the Bible, but do not understand the concept or significance of holiness, do not personally desire to be holy, and therefore do little, if anything to pursue it.But, we are not holy and can not become holy through becoming "a better person" or "a nice guy." Any holiness in ourselves is due to the presence of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. So it is not by our own merit or works that we achieve holiness. The more we are open to God's presence in us, the more holy we become. In the archives is the sermon Becoming Like God.
One self test—the holier you think you are, the further you are likely to be from true holiness. For holiness is at the far end of the spectrum from a holier than thou attitude. Humility is one of the marks of the truly holy.
How do you define Holy? How do you pursue it?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church